School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Brian Stiffler


General Music, Curriculum Design, COVID-19, Social-emotional Learning


Education | Music


The purpose of this project is to identify how elementary general music curriculum can address the negative impacts of the sense of isolation felt by elementary music students because of COVID-19. When designed appropriately, components of the elementary music curriculum can help recover the sense of belonging lost during the implementation of forced remote and hybrid learning platforms. With the use of large-group surveys, this qualitative research study investigates the sense of isolation felt by elementary general music students after remote school attendance, hybrid school attendance, and non-attendance. These perspectives did not exist until recently, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still being discovered and experienced by public school students nationwide. This study also examines the pre-pandemic elementary general music curriculum to determine how the existing curriculum could be utilized or modified to address the isolation felt by these students based on the results of the submitted surveys. Perspectives on enjoyment, relationships, and technology are themes discovered through examining participant survey data and reviews of pandemic-related literature. Results indicate that the sense of isolation felt by students can be addressed in the curriculum by creating a course sequence which incorporates inclusive music practices that help students understand their perspectives and the perspectives of others. This study may encourage the development of curricular resources which combat the adverse effects of events that devastate established educational systems and processes.